06 Jan 2012

Japan tries defensive virus

The Japan Defense Ministry is working to develop a defense weapon for a virus that will be capable of tracing the source of a cyber attack to its origin to shut it down and disable the system along the way. This is a controversial method of internet security, as many believe it could also cause harm.

"The theory of the system is that security equipment detects an attack on a network that it is actively defending," ExtremeTech said. "The virus is launched as a defensive measure, and it immediately begins to unravel the attack, disabling middleman machines along the way as it works its way back to the source."

Tim Hornyak writes on CNET that it remains to be seen whether a virus like this would work in the real world, as many internet security experts said it would rarely be effective due to the nature of layered server deployment. Hornyak said this virus could also end up hitting innocent third parties along the way.

Fujitsu is reportedly developing the virus, and CNET said it is a $2.32 million project that first started in 2008. So far, test runs seem to have gone well, according to anonymous sources who spoke with the Yomiuri Shimbun.